Paper Money

Shipwrecks yield more than gold bars and coins

Money tells a story. A Series 1935E $1 silver certificate star note (Friedberg 1613N*) is listed in “Paper Money Values” as worth anywhere from $4 in Very Good to $40 in Choice Crisp Uncirculated.

What is it that would make people want to bid upwards of $150 on a particular example of the note? The answer is what comes with it and where it has been. 

American Eagles present trio of tenth-ounce gold rarities
”Three rarities are identified among the smallest American Eagles. Also in our Nov. 13 issue, columnists dissect a few poor attempts at counterfeiting American rarities and explain an obsession to search for surprise coins.

In this case, 225 feet deep at the bottom of the ocean, as a result of the July 26, 1956, shipwreck of the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria. The ship was rammed off the Massachusetts coast in a midnight fog by the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm.

The note is featured as lot 502 in a Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC auction sale closing on Nov. 2. Included with a note is the Life magazine issue of Sept. 17,1956, and a DVD telling the ship’s tale. 

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The note’s PCGS Currency “B” Grade holder states that the note, with stains and some damage, was recovered from the Andrea Doria’s first class safe on Aug. 17, 1984. Considering that it spent 28 years in salt water, it is in remarkable condition, no doubt a testament to a very good safe.

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